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Another help me build my forge thread. :)

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Hello all. Now I know you’re probably tired of seeing the “help me with my forge” posts and being on many other forums where you get new people asking questions it can get old. I am hoping the lurking and reading I have done beforehand will eliminate some of that. :)

I have decided to build my forge rather than buy one, and I’m doing so have entered and whole new rabbit hole to fall into. 

My designs ideas are as follows:

ribbon or NARB for my burner, probably propane very slightly and highly unlikely that I will try and connect to my natural gas I have at my house just due to where the existing connection points are, and that I may even take it to a friends shop to share with him  

size; I’m really unsure, I don’t want it to be too skinny or long for efficiency/useable space ratio. My initial thoughts are 4-6”h, 8”w, 16”l


2” koawool on the bottom with 1/2” kastolite 30, and Mizzou. How much Mizzou should I use? Should I then also use ITC-100? Or is that more for other surfaces?

2.5” ceramic bricks for the sides,

and 1-2” of koawool and kastolite for the top. 

My intention is to use the forge for Bladesmithing, and some blacksmithing projects. I’m sure as my skills and whatnot grow I will branch out more but at this time I think it’ll be a good start  I would also like to be able to use a 20lb propane tank for my fuel source, of that isn’t feasible then please let me know. I am a sponge and the wealth of knowledge here is my water. 


Is the ceramic firebrick for the sides a bad idea? Am I better off using the koawool and refractory? 

Thank you in advance for your patience and support.


pictire is of a Forge I used in a class and it is what I am using as my inspiration  





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I am on page 13 of the forge building 101 page. Holy smokes that has been a lot of reading. :)

Wayne, your page was one of the first things I came across which is where I learned about the ribbon burner concept. One thing lead to another and bam, i found myself here. 

So to make sure I am following along correctly and taking the correct notes here are my new theories/questions. 

#1 for my first forge I should try and get one of the used Freon tanks, or helium bottles. Line it with koawool, rigidize it with fumed silica, apply a refractory coating (Kastolite 30) then use something like plastix for a sealant/ reflective coating? Cut andoor in the back for pass through and or exhaust vent if needed. Since I plan to go the ribbon burner route I should do a 4”x4” burner either with a blower, or Frostys T burner and NARB set up? As far as the forge floor is the ceramic brick or firebrick better, or is there a better? Should I coat the floor brick with refractory as well to get it more flux resistant or is that a waste of time?


If I am going to build something other than a cylinder forge D shaped is better and I can do that by making a box or rectangle forge and building the ceiling/walls in a some fashion with koawool and making it rigid? Also I am still unclear as to whether or not the ceramic block would make adequate sidewalk insulation. 

I will keep reading the post, and probably come up with more questions or clarification on subjects. :)

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I think you'll find that ribbon burners work out best in larger forges, like a five gallon cylinder shell, and worst in miniature forges such as non-refillable Freon or helium cylinders; just something to keep in mind. I have little doubt that miniature ribbon burners will be worked out in time...

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Thank you it’s for he input. Will one of these cylinder forged be big enough for making tongs and such, or is it mostly geared towards knifemaking?

im really torn if I want to do a cylinder or a D shaped or box forge. 

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Typically a tunnel shaped mini-forge has a 6" diameter inside, minus the flattened area of its floor.

Typically a tunnel shaped five-gallon forge has a 9" diameter inside, minus the floor area.

Typically, a half-muffler mini-oval forge has a 9" width to match the larger tunnel forge and the economy of the mini-tunnel forge.

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